is a species of maple native to northeastern North America from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland, and south to Pennsylvania. It also grows at high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia. Acer spicatum is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 3–8 m (10–25 ft) tall, forming a spreading crown with a short trunk and slender branches. The leaves are opposite and simple, 6–10 cm (2 1⁄4–4 in) long and wide, with 3 or 5 shallow broad lobes. They are coarsely and irregularly toothed with a light green hairless surface and a finely hairy underside. The leaves turn brilliant yellow to red in autumn, and are on slender stalks usually longer than the blade. The bark is thin, dull gray-brown, and smooth at first but becoming slightly scaly. The fruit is a paired reddish samara, 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1 1⁄4 in) long, maturing in late summer to early autumn.
The juice contains sugar and can be used as a raw material for making maple syrup. The bark contains tannins and can be used to tan leather. The Indians soak the heart of the young shoots of this maple to get a cure for eye inflammation, and also make poultices from the boiled chips of the roots.Fruit is a pair of winged seeds (samara), that can be up to 1½ inches long but more typically around an inch, and often turning bright red. Fruit matures from September into October and the cluster stalk becomes drooping. The wings form an angle near 90 degrees. Mountain Maple is the smallest of Minnesota's native Acer species, growing as a tall shrub or small tree. As its name suggests, it is a cool temperature species and in its eastern US range it only goes south in the higher elevations of the Appalachians. In Minnesota it is frequent along the north shore of Lake Superior and up through the Arrowhead, becoming less common westward. In our SE it prefers cooler north and east facing slopes in the understory of larger trees. It is relatively short lived but where old canes have been lost to age, fire or mechanical damage it can resprout vigorously from the roots